31 Bands With Huge Number of Members

When less is not more...

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31 Bands With Huge Number of Members
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Sometimes a classic four-piece scheme just isn't enough for bands, so a lot of musicians decide to extend their lineups. We prepared a special rundown of bands which have a really huge number of official members simultaneously.

NOTE:

  • We include only bands with OFFICIAL members, being in the group at the same time
  • We didn't include pop (S Club 7, etc), J-pop/K-pop (SNSD, Apeace, etc) and hip-hop (Wu-Tang Clan, The Roots, etc) bands
  • We didn't include "superstar" projects with guest members (Ayreon, Folkearth, etc)
  • We didn't include jazz big bands

And before starting, here are honorable mentions:

Bands with maximum 7 band members at the same time:

  • 10,000 Maniacs
  • A Forest of Stars
  • A Silver Mt. Zion
  • Academia da Berlinda
  • Amsterdam Klezmer Band
  • Arcade Fire
  • Banda Black Rio
  • Belle and Sebastian
  • Bill Haley & His Comets
  • Brujeria
  • Buck-O-Nine
  • C.S.I. (Consorzio Suonatori Indipendenti)
  • Chico Science & Nação Zumbi
  • Concussion Ensemble
  • Crippled Black Phoenix
  • De Poema's
  • Dead to a Dying World
  • Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show
  • Dry & Heavy
  • Eagles
  • Electric Light Orchestra
  • Fishbone
  • Flogging Molly
  • GWAR
  • Inti-Illimani
  • Jefferson Airplane
  • Jess and the Ancient Ones
  • Locanda delle Fate
  • Lou Dalfin
  • Lyapis Trubetskoy (Ляпис Трубецкой)
  • Madness
  • MaYaN
  • Mes Aïeux
  • Modena City Ramblers
  • Novalis Deux
  • RedSka
  • Reel Big Fish
  • Seabear
  • Siskiyou
  • Slightly Stoopid
  • Sons of the Pioneers
  • Spitfire
  • Stone Senses
  • Teksti-TV 666
  • Texas
  • The Blue Aeroplanes
  • The Bodysnatchers
  • The Foundations
  • The O.C. Supertones
  • The Ocean
  • TISM
  • Woodpigeon

Bands with maximum 8 band members at the same time:

  • 7 Seconds of Love
  • Black Roots
  • Buio Pesto
  • Cloud Cult
  • Cult of Luna
  • Dizzy Man's Band
  • Do Make Say Think
  • John Brown's Body
  • I Ratti Della Sabina
  • King Crimson
  • Leahy
  • Los Fabulosos Cadillacs
  • Me Mom & Morgentaler
  • Mr. Review
  • Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
  • Nihilist Spasm Band
  • Streetlight Manifesto
  • The Mighty Mighty Bosstones
  • The New Pornographers
  • The Pogues
  • The Untouchables
  • The Uptones
  • They Shoot Horses Don't They
  • UB40
  • Ulver
Bands with maximum 9 band members at the same time:
  • Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band
  • Folkstone
  • Hjaltalín
  • Idiot Flesh
  • Mushroomhead
  • The Aquabats
  • Titãs
Bands with maximum 10 band members at the same time:
  • Amaba Dama
  • Bixiga 70
  • Blood, Sweat & Tears
  • Bruce Peninsula
  • Brutto
  • Here Come the Mummies
  • La Bottine Souriante
  • Library Voices
  • Lifted Crew
  • Móveis Coloniais de Acaju
  • Ojba Rasta
  • Orquestra Contemporânea de Olinda
  • Pg.99
  • The Magpie Salute
  • The Mothers of Invention
Bands with maximum 11 band members at the same time: 
  • Five Alarm Funk
  • Gnod
  • Opus Avantra
  • The Doobie Brothers
  • The Hatters
  • Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra
Bands with maximum 12 band members at the same time:
  • O Teatro Mágico
  • Sha-Na-Na
  • Sigur Rós
  • Tedeschi Trucks Band
  • Útidúr

Bands with maximum 13 band members at the same time:

  • Akōya Afrobeat Ensemble
  • Lighthouse
  • Söhne Mannheims
  • The Bad Luck 13 Riot Extravaganza
  • Ultra Bra

Bands with maximum 14 band members at the same time:

  • Snarky Puppy

Bands with maximum 15 band members at the same time:

  • Taraf de Haïdouks
Bands with maximum 20 band members at the same time:
  • Eat a Bag of Dicks
  • The Brian Setzer Orchestra
Bands with maximum 31 band members at the same time: 
  • Trans-Siberian Orchestra

And here's the actual list!

31. Gogol Bordello

Max number of members: 9

Led by Eugene Hütz, Gypsy punk band Gogol Bordello included up to 9 band members at the same time (though the current lineup includes only 8).

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30. Chicago

Max number of members: 9

The self-described "rock and roll band with horns," Chicago were formed in 1967, with its current lineup including 9 members.

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29. Groundation

Max number of members: 9

Groundation, an American roots reggae band with jazz and dub influences, currently include 9 band members.

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28. The Skatalites

Max number of members: 9

Classic ska band from Jamaica, The Skatalites now consist of 9 musicians.

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27. Cherry Poppin' Daddies

Max number of members: 9

Mixing ska punk, swing and funk rock, Cherry Poppin' Daddies' lineup included up to 9 members at the same time.

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26. The Mars Volta

Max number of members: 9

Though only Omar Rodríguez-López and Cedric Bixler-Zavala were 2 constant members of The Mars Volta, the band's lineup consisted up to 9 members simultaneously.

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25. Markscheider Kunst

Max number of members: 9

Russian band Markscheider Kunst, mixing ska, afro-rock, reggae, etc, currently include 9 musicians.

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24. Chumbawamba

Max number of members: 9

Currently disbanded alternative rockers Chumbawamba, best known for their song "Tubthumping," also known for their membership, that varied over the years, with the line-up and musical assignments in the early years being especially fluid (members were known to switch instruments between, or even during, gigs).

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23. The Specials

The Specials, also known as The Special AKA, mix 2 Tone, ska, reggae and punk in their music, with the band's current linep indcluding 9 members.

Max number of members: 9

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22. Slipknot

Max number of members: 9

Undeniably the most known 9-piece, Slipknot. All of the band's classic members also known under their own numbers (from #0 to #8).

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21. Lynyrd Skynyrd

Max number of members: 10

Lynyrd Skynyrd, also known for their lineup changes (sometimes really tragic ones), included up to 10 official band members at the same time.

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20. Misty in Roots

Max number of members: 10

Misty in Roots are a British roots reggae band formed in the mid-1970s. And the group included up to 10 members simultaneously.

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19. Library Voices

Max number of members: 10

Library Voices, a Canadian indie pop band, were formed in 2008 as a ten-piece group of musician friends, though the current lineup includes only 7 members.

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18. St. Petersburg Ska-Jazz Review

Max number of members: 10

Russian ska/jazz/swing/rocksteady band St. Petersburg Ska-Jazz Review were originally formed by the members of Russian ska-punk group Spitfire (which classic lineup consisted of 7 members), so now the band officially includes 10 musicians.

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17. Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

Led by Alex Ebert, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros' lineup include up to 10 band members at the same time.

Max number of members: 10

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16. Godspeed You! Black Emperor

Max number of members: 11

With the current lineup consisting of 9 band members, cult Canadian experimental post-rock band Godspeed You! Black Emperor consisted of 11 members some time ago.

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15. The Pepper Pots

Max number of members: 11

The Pepper Pots, ska/reggae/soul/swing/rocksteady band from Catalonia, Spain, consist of 11 members, including 3 leading female vocalists.

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14. Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings

Max number of members: 11

Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, Grammy-nominated funk/soul band, included up to 10 band members until their break up after Sharon Jones' tragic death in 2016.

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13. Auktyon

Max number of members: 11

Russian experimental/art rock band Auktyon ("АукцЫон" originally in Russian), formed in 1978, are known for mixing different genres (from jazz and psychedelic rock to avant-garde and freak folk), and their lineup sometimes included up to 11 members.

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12. Eluveitie

Max number of members: 11

The current lineup of the Swiss folk metal band Eluveitie includes "only" 9 musicians, but at the beginning of their career, there were 11 official band members at the same time.

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11. Earth, Wind & Fire

Max number of members: 11

Earth, Wind & Fire, the band that "changed the sound of black pop," combine a lot of different genres such as R&B, soul, funk, jazz, disco, pop, rock, Latin and African music. And in its various forms the band included up to 11 musicians.

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10. Bob Marley and the Wailers

Max number of members: 11

The most known reggae band, led by Bob Marley, included up to 11 band members.

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9. Santana

Max number of members: 13

Santana, the band formed by Carlos Santana in 1966, included up to 13 musicians (now 12).

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8. Leningrad

Max number of members: 15

Russian band Leningrad ("Ленинград" in Russian) are known for their eccentric ska/punk/folk/rock songs and their huge lineup (up to 15 members).

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7. Bang Camaro

Max number of members: 16

Bang Camaro, American hard rock band from Boston, Massachusetts, was founded by guitarists Bryn Bennett and Alex Necochea in 2005. It is composed of members of various indie rock bands from the area, including a bassist, a drummer, 2 guitarists, and a lead singer complement which comprises anywhere from eight to twelve vocalists.

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6. Parliament-Funkadelic

Max number of members: 16

In May 1997, George Clinton and 15 other members of Parliament-Funkadelic were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, being the largest band yet inducted. Other George Clinton related bands, Parliament and Funkadelic, also include a huge amount of musicians.

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5. North East Ska*Jazz Orchestra

Max number of members: 19

Italian North East Ska*Jazz Orchestra, mixing (as you can understand) ska and jazz, consist of 19 band members.

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4. Broken Social Scene

Max number of members: 19

Though originally formed as a 3-piece, now Canadian indie rock band Broken Social Scene include up to 19 (!) band members.

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3. Haggard

Max number of members: 21

Haggard are a German neo-classical metal musical group founded in 1989, combining classical music with death metal. Just before their album "Awaking the Centuries" was released, the group had its highest number of musicians at 21.

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2. I'm From Barcelona

Max number of members: 28

I'm from Barcelona, formed in Sweden (yes, not in Barcelona) by Emanuel Lundgren, are best known for their 28 band members and eclectic mix of instruments such as clarinets, saxophones, flutes, trumpets, banjos, accordions, kazoos, guitars, drums, and keyboards among others.

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1. The Polyphonic Spree

Max number of members: 32

The Polyphonic Spree are a choral rock band from Dallas, Texas that was formed in 2000 by Tim DeLaughter. The band's biggest number of musicians was 32 (!), with alumni such as Annie Clark or St. Vincent used to feature in The Polyphonic Spree.

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Know more bands with a huge number of band members (7 or more)? Feel free to share them in the comment section below.

Inti-Illimani

47 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Yabba Who
    The Mothers of Invention's 1969 & 1974 lineups each had 10 members, while the 1971 lineup had 8. Zappa's '88 band had 12.
    SlyDevil13
    Here Come The Mummies?
    N-D
    Wow, what a great suggestion! Never heard of them before, thanks a lot! 10 members with hidden identities!
    SlyDevil13
    I've seen them twice and are entertaining as hell haha. Great musicians and tons of comedy. 
    stevenjmal
    According to their Wikipedia page, "Members are believed to be under contract to various record labels,  hiding their identities so as to prevent contract disputes while  performing."  
    TombOfHorror
    I was hoping to see The Polyphonic Spree on this list, never expected to see them at number 1. Very cool. Fans of the Spree should also check out Tripping Daisy, band that Tim DeLaughter and Mark Pirro were in prior to Polyphonic Spree. Best album was Jesus Hits Like The Atom Bomb imho.
    eatfresh1736
    I loved Bang Camaro's first album. The riffs and solos were so pumped full of real rock swagger. Their 2nd album was ok. Then they disappeared.
    hamelgui
    Guns n roses with one singer, one bass player, 4 guitar players and 44,5 keyboard players
    dial-a-death
    No Trans Siberian Orchestra? Their website puts official members at 31 at the moment... Do they count as a superstar group?
    N-D
    Yeah, you are right! I always thought that TSO are just a normal band with a huge number of guest/touring musicians (as Wikipedia claims), but according to the band's website all of them are official members. Thank you!
    hendrixfreak93
    Broken Social Scene is one of the best bands to come out of the 2000s. Glad to see them getting mentioned here!
    qrEE
    Missed out on Folkearth, and they might end up being top of the list, not sure, they've had at *least* 30-31 members at a time.
    danielchasebe
    Glad to see TMV there. Though, I check this site everyday - I don't know how I keep missing the opportunity to nominate them when I can. Still, I like seeing them mentioned. It's nice to know there are others out there that still think about them when I can't do my due diligence.
    Josozmija
    I kinda feel there should be a place for Zappa's band (for example The best band you never heard in your life)
    drpkck
    Saw Bang Camaro twice when they were still around. Both shows were at a small venue where they barely fit on the stage. Ton of fun though.
    jjhand
    Brian Setzer Orchestra could've made this group. He has a horn section, saxophones, upright bass and drummer backing him up.